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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Barrymore 'worse for wear'
Michael Barrymore
Mr Barrymore was "in no fit state to do anything"
Television presenter Michael Barrymore was drunk the night a man was found floating in the swimming pool at his luxury home, an inquest has heard.

Stuart Lubbock, 31, went to 50-year-old Mr Barrymore's house in Roydon, Essex, in the early hours of 31 March last year after meeting him in a Harlow nightclub.

Hours later the father-of-two, described by his former partner as a "bubbly party-goer", was found face-down in the pool.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as drowning but pathologists have told the hearing in Epping that traces of cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol were found in his system.

Stuart Lubbock
Stuart Lubbock was a father of two

Both Mr Lubbock's brother Kevin and taxi driver Keith Herrett described how Mr Barrymore looked intoxicated when they saw him that night.

Kevin Lubbock, who spoke to the celebrity at Harlow's Millennium nightclub while with his brother, said: "He was wearing a white shabby jumper. He looked terrible, like he'd been throwing up in the loos."

Mr Herrett described how Mr Barrymore was walking drunkenly and slouched into the back seat of his car for the eight-minute journey from the club to his home, accompanied by two other men and a woman.

"Michael Barrymore was very badly the worse for wear.

"It was my impression that he was in no fit state to do anything but sit in a chair and go to sleep.

Ecstasy tablets

"He was walking drunkenly, got into the car and then slouched into the car seat.

"It was my impression that he did not actually know the three people."

Keith Herrett
Keith Herrett drove the star back home

Mr Herrett said under cross-examination by Michael Mansfield QC he had heard the entertainer shout that he could do with sex.

Mr Lubbock's ex-partner, Claire Wickes, and "on-off" girlfriend Karen Harris said that he was not gay and would never have had a sexual relationship with a man.

Miss Wickes described him as a "typical ladies' man".

Miss Wickes and Miss Harris both told the hearing that Mr Lubbock had admitted to them that he took ecstasy - sometimes up to four tablets on a weekend night.

Kevin Lubbock said any suggestion that his brother had been homosexual was "unthinkable".

The inquest was adjourned until Thursday.


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See also:

10 Sep 02 | England
09 Sep 02 | England
20 Nov 01 | Entertainment
30 Oct 01 | Entertainment
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